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McGehee not letting homerless start, teasing from teammates bother him too much

The Marlins aren't just hitting more home runs this season. They're doing a good job teasing at least one teammate who has yet to club one himself.

Third baseman Casey McGehee said Monday he recently found a set of weights inside his locker. It's among the many subtle, "fun" hints McGehee said his teammates have been leaving behind for him lately.

McGehee, who finished second in Japan's Pacific League last season with 28 homers, is the only clean-up hitter with at least 60 at-bats this season yet to hit a home run. Yet, he ranks seventh in the No. 4 spot in RBI with 16, and tied for 20th overall with 20 RBI.

"It doesn't bother me too much," McGehee said of the teasing. "I just remind some of the guys in here that I've got more [career] homers than they do. Outside of that, it's not too big a deal. I like to think I'm going to get one in before we wrap it up for the year."

In case you haven't noticed, the Marlins are tied for sixth in major league baseball with 33 homers -- 21 of those have come at home. Last year they didn't hit their 33rd home run of the season until June 11th, their 64th game of 2013. They hit a total of 36 homers at home, an MLB-worst 95 for the season.

According to Stats LLC, Marlins Park has seen the greatest up-tick in homers of any MLB venue this season. Last year a homer occurred every 72.5 at bats at Marlins Park. It's now up to 42.3 percent this season.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond, however, doesn't want McGehee to change his approach at the plate. 

"We’ve talked to him about it a little bit, don’t get caught up in the home runs, just keep driving in the runs," Redmond said. "We talked about him hitting behind Stanton and there are going to be RBI situatoins. We just need those guys to get driven in. It doesn’t matter how. I don’t think anybody is asking him to hit home runs or be a power hitter. We just want him to drive those runs in and that’s what he's been able to do.

STANTON SNUBBED

Even though he put up impressive numbers (.269, 8 HRs, 31 RBI) and currently leads the National League in homers (10) and all of baseball in RBI (36), Giancarlo Stanton was not named the NL's Player of the Month on Monday. Those honors went to Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (.364, 7 HRs, 22 RBI).

Stanton was hardly bothered. Even though he feels like his approach at the plate has been the most consistent he's ever had to start a season, Stanton said Monday he's also had some really bad games and really bad at-bats.

"You have a few days where it's like 'Have you even played baseball before?' And then you kind of lock in, stick to your plan and not worry about anything else," Stanton said. "Whether I am or not [getting more pitches to hit] I'm just being more aggressive and putting them where they need to be. I'm not missing as many pitches when I am getting pitched to as I was previous."

Stanton said the opposition has been using a lot more shifts against him this season, usually placing the second baseman to left side of the of the bag since he's always been a pull hitter. But Stanton said he's been trying to teach himself "not to pull off balls" and to go the other way.

"That's been my problem," Stanton said. "When I have bad games or not seeing the ball well I'm not giving myself time to let [the pitch] get deep and understand right field is just as successful as pulling the ball."

> Jose Fernandez, hit on a Dee Gordon ground ball in Sunday's 5-4 win over the Dodgers, said the bruise in his left inner thigh "was hurting a lot" Sunday night. But he said he woke up feeling a lot better and did all the conditioning work he was supposed to do on Monday.

> Redmond celebrated his 43rd birthday on Monday and was treated to lunch from Joe Stone Crabs by the Marlins brass. His twin brother Patrick sent the team photos of Redmond as a child. The team put them up inside the clubhouse on a TV screen for everyone to see.

MONDAY'S LINEUPS

> Mets (16-14): 1. Eric Young Jr. LF, 2. Daniel Murphy 2B, 3. David Wright 3B, 4. Curtis Granderson CF, 5. Bobby Abreu RF, 6. Lucas Duda 1B, 7. Travis d'Arnaud C, 8. Omar Quintanilla SS, 9. Jonathan Niese LHP.

> Marlins (16-15): 1. Christian Yelich CF, 2. Ed Lucas 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 6. Jeff Baker 1B, 7. Reed Johnson LF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.

Comments

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Camera Mike

Stanton did put up some impressive numbers in April but I still agree with Tulowitzki getting player of the month recognition. Tulowitzki has a higher batting average and no errors compared to Stanton's 2, as well as his outfield gaffe yesterday which was not an error. Stanton is one hell of a talent and had a solid April at the plate but there is more to baseball then just batting and home runs and when you look at everything Tulowitzki had a better month.

Stan, I noticed Yelich is playing CF tonight and I think you had mentioned before you wanted to see him there.

Alex

I don't know...Stanton has been pretty impressive. And as I said yesterday, I don't care what you guys say, he IS IMPROVING defensively, despite the occasional bone head play like yesterday. In addition to a great arm he is fast and gets a good jump on balls. Somebody asked "and this guy was a football player?" Well yeah, he was. Chasing down thrown footballs is completely different than tracking balls hit off a baseball bat. It's two different kinds of hand/eye coordinations that are involved. There is more physics involved in catching a batted baseball. And I always remind you all that Stanton is JUST 24 YEARS OLD. I been talking about his youth to all the Stanton critics ever since he arrived here a few years ago, and each year you can see steady improvement in all phases of his game; years ago he would have been in the minors all these years learning the game.

Bottom line is this: the kid is SPECIAL, a once in a lifetime power hitter that the Marlins should do WHATEVER IT TAKES to sign to a long term deal. He is THE ONLY guy on the team that puts FEAR into the opposition.

Stan M

Thoughts on tonight's game:
*Redmond is starting to step out of the box of orthodoxy and use his head. Until recently, he would have never brought Cishek in during a tie game.
*Luck played a part again when the SS booted McGehee's double play ball.
*Personally, I liked the sacrifice bunt in the 9th. Yes, it took the bat out of Stanton's hand, but I'd rather have McGee and Salty up with the winning run on 2nd.
*Theoretically, the Marlins should have had the lead in the 8th. The umpire blew a ball/strike call, and had he got it right, Ozuna would have walked with the bases loaded.
*Whereas I think it's great that Redmond has expanded Cishek's role, ultimately that won't solve the problem. This team desperately needs one more reliable reliever; right or left handed.
*The team, as of this moment, is in 3rd place, nd only 1/2 game out of first.
*Eovaldi looked great after that 1st inning.

Alex

A great win! The way this team battles back is impressive; they never say die. Last year if they were down by more than 2 runs the game was over. Now it's just a matter of time before they tie it up.

The only problem is that they are still learning HOW TO WIN. They are having a real hard time closing the deal after they battle back; very often they tie the game but have a hell of a time getting that one more run they need to actually WIN the game. Every single game seems to be a nail biter, and the reason for that is simple: they are not good at getting runners home from 3rd base with less than 2 outs. This team has a chance to be a contender this year. In fact the way they keep coming back in games bodes very well; they are starting to look like one of those "Teams of Destiny". Teams of Destiny are teams that might not be all that great on paper, but suddenly start winning as if blessed by the Gods of Baseball. The 2003 Marlins were one of those Teams of Destiny. But Destiny or not, if they really want to contend this year they have to start doing a lot better with getting runners home from 3rd base with less than 2 outs. It would also be better for my NERVES...lol...

Alex

Agree with EVERYTHING you said, Stan; isn't that something, LOL...I didn't know that you also like managers that "step out of the box of orthodoxy and use their head". That's why I disliked Fredi so much. He drove me up a wall with his By The Book style.

Luck is a very important ingredient. Almost every winning team gets a big helping of it over the course of a year. And every losing team has a huge luck deficit. Of course by playing good fundamental baseball you increase your chances of getting lucky.

And yes, I agree about the bullpen. It's this team's Achilles heel.

Camera Mike

Alex,

I agree that Stanton's defense is improving overall and at 24 he is still young and learning how to play the game, but he does have a problem with hits he has to run into and catch on the hop. Hopefully the coaches start to work with him on those as in my opinion there hasn't been improvement on those types of plays.

As for tonight's game it was great to see the fish fight back again. It is a little frustrating falling behind in games but last year they seemed resigned to losing before the game even started and it just snowballed with every run the opponent scored. Seeing the Marlins playing with heart and confidence this year even when behind is certainly heartwarming to this Marlins fan. I credit the new veterans this year with bringing in that attitude.

Also I'm in with Stan and Alex on us needing one more arm in the pen. I seriously doubt the FO will trade for one so I hope Caminero or one of the other arms in the minors can step up.

Alex

Yeah, Mike, Stanton does have problems on balls hit right at him; there's a moment of indecision where he's not sure whether to charge or not. That's the difference between football and baseball; in football the only variable you have to consider is the arm strength of your QB. In baseball you have to consider the strength of the hitter, the wind, whether the ball is slicing or hit straight at you, and you gotta do all that in a split second. Still, consider where he was a few years back when he had trouble on ALL kinds of balls. Look how nicely he made that play in tonight's game. Anyone watching the kid over the years has to admit that he has improved in all phases of his game, and at 24, he still has several years to go before he reaches his peak.

If the team is in contention in late July they will HAVE TO make a few moves at the Trading Deadline. If not, they will lose these players the way they lost the 08-09 Fish when they did NOTHING at the Deadline both years, despite being in contention for a playoff spot. When players realize that the Front Office is not going ALL OUT to win they start looking for ways to get out of here.

employee

Sorry to the three Marlins fans that posted above ,they will not make any moves at the trade deadline because they wont trade any of the top young arms they have in the minors,which is all they have to sell,that any other team would want.

Spicoli

Heath Bell is available again, anybody...anybody...anybody

Mr. Hand

Heath Smell is available again for what his experienced talent is qualified for. Mens Room attendant at the Greyhound Bus Station.

Flav C.

Luck can only be a factor if the team has positioned itself to take advantage of it.

The Marlins of late has been taking advantage of those breaks only because they have seized the opportunities, by having runners in scoring position when it matters.

Don't forget the Marlins were in the other side during that 8 game losing streak: all they needed was a break and it never came. And when it came, they were not ready to seize it.

For the "experts" who said Yelich couldn't hit against left-handed pitching, he is 11-for-22 in the last several games. And yes, sometimes he is bunting his way into 1B.

Lou Vales

Test

Stan M

Flav, you must qualify your opening sentence. Team was lucky not to face Dodgers 3 best pitchers, and it had nothing to do with positioning themselves on the field. Agree with all of the rest that you posted.

Was looking for relief pitchers who could possibly be available. Either from teams going nowhere, or teams in need of hitting. JJ Putz on Houston has good numbers so far and is a seasoned veteran who should be cheap. I know nothing about Benoit on Arizona except his numbers look great. Seattle has 2 relievers who have had impressive numbers so far, all in limited appearances naturally. Thayer and Vincent. I have no idea who would be available, how much time is left under team control, or what their respective salaries are. That is one of your areas of expertise. Something must be done, and soon, if this team is to continue on it's present course. Saw where the lefty reliever you have touted just had a bad outing. In fact, with 3 or 4 exceptions, none of our minor leaguers have distinguished themselves so far this year and help might have to come from without. Munoz still looks good and Realmuto is hitting well...finally, but team needs pitching.

Lou Vales

Sorry for the "Test" but my posts are disappearing and I'm NOW the most mellow guy on here. Stan can verify at the beginning of year I said they would be much improved and hinted at(afraid of sounding crazy)the possibility of really being a surprise. The only thing they should do right now is to RECOGNIZE how good they can be and make the obvious moves a contender would. Loria has a chance to POSSIBLY reinvent this into a Baseball Town and he should not blow it. He could actually make some MONEY!!!First thing that must be done is Marmol MUST be cut adrift. He was signed along with Furcal because they had no idea they could play this well and those 2 signings were about pseudo respectability. They have transcended that. You can't be losing games in May because of Marmol because I guarantee the NL East will be decided by 5 games or fewer and these games in May count. There are replacement guys floating around right now who are more reliable than Marmol. QUIT fooling with him. Number 2--There is something wrong with Turner.I saw him pitch a couple of times when with the Tigers and the ball ONCE had that special sound when it hit the mitt. That is now gone, maybe forever. As you may know I have followed the Tigers since 1956 BUT I get more of a kick out of watching the Marlins. We are really close. Match up our lineup position by position with the Braves amd you will see the Marlins are better at catcher, second base, third base, left field, and probably right field. Braves only distinct advantage is Freeman at 1B. I'm not saying these are the 67 Red Sox but with some tweeking this could be fun. Heaney will soon be the 5th starter. We WILL acquire a 7th inning guy and let's go from there AND please just release Furcal who has the body(but not the mind) of Warren Buffet.

Lou Vales

Benoit is a GREAT set-up man and a good closer but he was signed for way too much money than Loria would ever take on. He got closer money(and then some) from the Padres to work the 8th inning.

Stan M

Three pitchers with big reputations, and Eovaldi:

ERA...IP...H...HR...W...K...BA...WHIP
2.34..45..37...3....6..45..232....99=Eovaldi
2.53..46..35...3...10..53..202....97=King Felix
3.60..40..42...5...13..58..268..1.38=Strasberg
2.68..47..43...1...19..38..243..1.32=Verlander

I'm posting this because we are all wishing for a Koosman like pitcher to compliment a Seaver. I think he is right here...at least so far.
I love our Kid, but Cueto really should have won pitcher of the month. As good as The Kid was, Cueto was significantly better.

Stan M

Lou, you are a sage. I'd even say the Marlins have an advantage...so far...in CF. The Braves have a much stronger bullpen, but Fredi has a way of ruining that. And more luck again with 2 critical Nationals out for significant times not to mention about half of the Brave's starters. Turner will have to cost us a couple more games before he is discarded...unfortunately. I asked in a previous post if you are still in contact with LB? If so, tell him to come on back.

Lou Vales

Dear Stan, I fear the worst for Laurel. I hope he is OK. He is, as you, as affine man. Fredi does NOT get enough "credit" for ruining the bullpen. He is responsible for the loss of Venters and O'Flaherety and a couple of more I've forgotten. I actually thought this would ne the year he permanently destroyed Kimbrell but Kimbrell is getting a long rest as they never have a lead to protect.His use of Venters boredered on the insane and he started the same stuff with Kimbrell last year. On a side note can you recall one position player in the last 50 years who has been allowed to function as Dan Uggla and kept his job? I can not. 65,000,000 gone to Hell. Now the Braves have started signing what I consider to be some marginal talent to ridiculously long deals. Freddie Freeman is fine BUT CHRIS JOHNSON???? The Kimbrell extension was veritable insanity. Assuming Fredo stays on, I will be shocked if Kimbrell is still effective in 2016.

Seth

This team is special. I fully expect the playoffs and possibly a World Series berth this season.

Lou Vales

By the way, try to always watch Fredo's post game shows after a loss. The man should have been a writer for Saturday Night Live when it was good. the man is hilarious. he can't go 5 minutes without "tipping his cap" to somebody. The man has tipped his cap more than a New York City bellman at the Plaza.

Lou Vales

One additional thing to worry about is these post game celebrations. Yhey are moving into the realm of "Chris Coghlin Land" and it would be devastating if Fernandez or someone else tears up a knee. Maybe we can temper it in the near future and behave as if we have done this before. You don't have to be devoid of enthusiasm and emotion just don't behave as if you have won the World Series.

A Realist

The Marlins do have other valuables to trade other than pitchers. They have Marisnick and a plethora of 2nd basemen.

A Dumazz

Wow...Marisnick and a plethora of 2nd basemen will land the Feesh what they need to compete for the play-offs at the trade deadline. The Everglades is for sale,too.

A Realist

Wow....your clever dumbazz. Actually, Marisnick is a pretty decent trade chip seeing as how he did play very well last year in center field. Yes, he can improve his hitting, but who can't? And, Dietrich or Solano would be interesting to some other teams who may have an injury down the stretch.

I usually enjoy this blog because dumbazzes, such as yourself, don't join in. Today, not so much.

And, they already have what they need to compete. They are competing night in and night out. What would you call it? Yes, a bullpen arm of two wouldn't hurt, but they are pretty good as is right now. Dummy.

A Realist

I was so surprised to see they won last night. I woke up to grab some cereal and the score went across the bottom line. Nice surprise.

Marcos Rodriguez

Just a couple of comments: As much as I think that Stanton is the best pure power hitter in baseball, Tulo had a much better average and his RBIs and HRs were almost the same...so no hurt feelings there...as and If I read correctly, did some guy say the Cueto had a better month than Fernandez? Not even close, sir (or Mam). Fernandez may well be the best pitcher in the NL if not baseball right now. Also, I know everyone claims this but I always said that if the pitching was up to par, the Marlins would surprise a few people. McGee is a great addition at third, and yes, he will hit HRs....Jones at first is also better, much better than what we had....now only if we can work on our bullpen...every time Redmond goes to the pen, hearts stop in South Florida. So Mr. Loria, in spite of you and David Sampson, the Marlins may be team that one saw coming this year...and I think that has happened twice before.

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